Danvers (Mass.).

Proceedings at the reception and dinner in honor of George Peabody, esq. of London online

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OCTOBER 9, 1856.







Nos. 33 & 35 Congress Street.

18 5 6 .

1 6.


The remarkable degree of success attending the efforts of the people
of the Old Town of Danvers to give suitable expression of their grati-
tude to their eminent townsman, and the interest manifested at the
time and since in the proceedings of that occasion, by the public at
large, seemed to render it proper that the events of the Reception
should have a more enduring record than the newspapers of the
day. The Committee to whom was entrusted the arrangements for the
ovation, therefore appointed a Sub-Committee to attend to this publica-
tion, desiring to have it placed in the hands of our citizens at the
earliest possible time consistent with a coi'rect record of the transactions
of the day.

In preparing this volume for the press, the Compiler has felt the
want of sufficient time to collect and arrange his materials in order to
present the work to the public in a suitable form.

Much of the material came late into his hands, and many of the
details were furnished by different persons, having different modes of
presenting the same kind of information, so that he has found it impos-
sible to present the moi-e descriptive parts with that uniformity which
would have been desirable. Rather than delay the publication of the
work, he has preferred to adopt the narrative of events, with but slight
changes from the form and language in which they were presented to

The proceedings at the Institute and at the banquet, which, after all,
gave the most extended importance to the Festival, are correctly nar-
rated, and most of the speeches have been revised by their authors.


The Compiler confesses himself indebted to many of our citizens
for materials and other aid for different parts of the work. Among
others, to Messrs. Samuel Preston, Amos Merrill, James D. Black, and
Augustus Mudge, for accounts of the several Schools ; Mr. John V.
Stevens and Mr. William Green for descriptions of the Fire Depart-
ment ; Thomas M. Stimpson, Esq., for the Historical Sketch of the
Peabody Institute, and to many other gentlemen for valuable informa-
tion and suggestions during the progress of the compilation.


Introduction, - - - . . - i

Decorations at Danver?, ...... q

" Danver.sport, - - - g

" South Danvers, - - - - - 1^

Ai-rangenients, - - - - - - -21

Programme of Reception, - . - - - - 21

Chief Marshal's Notice, - - - 23;

The Procession, - - - -25

Cavalcade, - - - - 25

Fire Department, - - - -28

Schools, - - - - - - - - 30

Exercises at the Peabody Institute, - - - - 38

Mr. Abbott's Address, - - - 39

Song by the children of the Holten High School, - - - 44

Mr. Peabody's Reply to Mr. Abbott, - - - . 44

THE DESTNER, - - - - 47

Speech of Mr. Daniels, - ..-. 47

" Mr. Peabody, - - - 51

" Governor Gardner, - - - 53

" Hon. Edward Everett, - - - 56

Song of Welcome, by Mrs. Joel R. Peabody, - - - 66

Speech of Mr. J. B. C. Davis, . - - . . 68

" President "Walker, - - - 72

'• Mayor Meservy, - - - 72

Prof. C. C. Felton, 74

Ode, by Mrs. George A. Osborne, - - - 78

Speech of Mi-. Charles Hale, - - - 79

" Judge Wliite, -.. - - 82

" Judge Upham, - - - 83

" Mr. Camithers, - - - 85

" Mr. Charles W. Upham, . . . . 86

Ode, by Miss Harriet "W. Preston, - - - - 88

Toasts and Sentiments, - - - 88

Letters, - - - - 89

Evening Levees, - - - - - - -109

The Next Day, 110

Conclusion, - - - - - - -112


The Press, ....... 115

From the Boston Evening Transcript, - - - - 115

" " Boston Daily Advertiser, .... 119

" " Boston Atlas, ...... 120

" " Boston Courier, - - - - - - 121

" " Boston Traveller, - - . - - 121

" " Boston Journal, -•.... 124

" " Salem Gazette, ...-.- 125

" " Salem Register, ..... 125

" " New York Times, - - - - - 130

" " American Journal of Education, - - - 131

" " London Times, - - - - - 133


Prefatory, - - ' - - - - - - 136

Historical Sketch, - - - - - - - 137

Mr. Peabody's Sentiment and Letter, .... 138

Government of the Institute, - - - - - 143

Donors and Donations to the Institute, . - - - 145

Laying of the Corncr-Ston.', ..... 147

Remarks of Mr. Daniels, - - - - - -147

Address of Mr. Abbott, ...... 148

Speech of Hon. Abbott Lawrence, - - - - 153

" Mayor Seaver, of Boston, - - - - 155

" Mayor Huntington, of Salem, - - - 157

" Hon. George S. Hillard, .... 157

" Mr. C. W. Upham, 159

Epistle to Future Generations, - - - - - 161

Dedication, - - - - - - -165

Mr. Daniels' Remarks, - - - - - - 165

Original Hymn, - - - - - - -167

Address of Hon. Rufus Choate, - » - - - 168

Speech of Hon. Geo. S. Hillard, - - - - - 183

" lion. D. A. White, 184

" Hon. Asahel Huntington, - - - - 184

Gov. Washburn's Letter, - - - - - -186

Lyceum and Library, - - - - . -187

List of Lectures and Lecturers, - - ' - - - 187

Rules and Regulations of the Library, - - - - 1 92


Bust of Mr. Peabody, by Jones.

Portrait of Mr. Peabody.

View of Peabody Institute, South Danvers.

Arch on Maple Street, Danvers.

T. A. Sweetser's Eesidence, and Shop of Capt. Sylvester Proctor, S. Danvers.

Arch at Danvcrsport, and Eesidence of Hon. James D. Black.

Lexington Monument, S. Danvers, and Eesidence of Hon. E. S. Daniels.

Arch on Liberty Street, Danversport, and Eesidence of M. Hooper, Esq.

Webster Club Arch, Main Street, South Danvers.

Arch at Danversport, near the Baptist Church.

Main Street, South Danvers, from Francis Dane's store.

Eesidence of Eben Sutton, Esq., opposite the Institute.

View of Warren Bank, Main Street, South Danvers.

Village Bank, Danvers, and Eesidence of Samuel Preston, Esq.

Eesidence of Mr. Abel Proctor, and Arch on Holten Street.

Store of Francis Dane, Esq., on the Square, South Danvers.

Eesidence of Wm. L. Weston, Esq., Danvers.

Lowell Street, with Arch and Congregational Church.




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The Reception and Dinner in honor of Mr. Peabodt, an
account of which it is proposed to offer in this publication, was
given by a joint arrangement between the towns of Danvers
and South Danvers, which constituted the ancient town of
Danvers. The initiative was taken by South Danvers, at a
legal public meeting, held on petition of the Trustees of the
Peabody Institute, on the 21st day of August, 1856 ; when,
on motion of Hon. A. A. Abbott, the following Resolutions
were adopted, and a Committee of twenty-three gentlemen
were chosen to carry into effect the wishes of the inhabitants : —

Whereas, reliable information has been received that George Pea-
body, Esq., of London, a native of this town, whose life and character
entitle him to our admiration and respect, and whose munificent dona-
tions have identified him with our local interests and history, is about
to revisit the United States, — therefore

Resolved, by us, the citizens of South Danvers, in town meeting
assembled, that we hail with deep pleasure this promised realization of
a long cherished wish, and praying for Mr. Peabody a prosperous voy-
age, bid him a hearty welcome to his native town.

Resolved, That a committee of twenty gentlemen be chosen, whose
duty it shall be, on the arrival of Mr. Peabody in this country, to invite
him to this town, the home of his youth and the seat of his noble
benefactions ; and, if he shall accept their invitation, to adopt such
measures for his reception and entertainment as, in their, judgment,
will best express the love and honor which we bear him.

It was afterwards voted that an attested copy of the above
Resolves be communicated to the authorities of the town of
Danvers, with an invitation to unite in the proposed Reception.

The Selectmen of the town were afterwards added to the
Committee, increasing the number to twenty-three, as follows :

Robert S. Daniels, Chairman.

Henry Poor, Ebenezer King,

Lewis Allen, Daniel Taylor,

Eben Sutton, Richard Osborn,

Elijah W. Upton, Stephen Blaney,

Francis Dane, Fitch Poole,

Alfred A. Abbott, Sydney C. Bancroft,

William Sutton, John B. Peabody,

George Osborne, John V. Stevens,

Joseph Jacobs, Henry A, Hardy,

Nathan H. Poor, Thomas M. Stimpson.

Kendall Osborn, Francis Baker, Secretary.

Subsequently, namely, on the 10th day of September, the
citizens of the town of Danvers adopted the following Resolves,
and elected a Committee of twenty-one gentlemen to represent
the views, and to carry into effect the wishes, of the people of
that town :

Resolved., By the citizens of Danvers in town meeting assembled,
that we anticipate with much pleasure the promised visit of Mr. Peabody
to his native land, and cordially bid liim welcome to the place of his

Resolved., That our thanks are due, and are hereby tendered to our
sister town of South Danvers, for the invitation extended to cooperate
with them in the reception and entertainment of Mr. Peabody, and
while heartily concurring in the sentiments of the resolutions adopted
by them, it will give us pleasure to cooperate with them in adopting
such measures as will best accord with the views herein expressed ; and
to this end.

Resolved, That a Committee of twenty-one be chosen to take the
requisite measures in cooperation with our friends in South Danvers.

The following persons were then chosen to constitute the

Committee :

Joshua Silvester, Chairman.

Samuel Preston, Ph [lemon Putnam,

Ebenezer Hunt, Levi Merrill,

Samuel P. Fowler, Charles Page,

William L. Weston, Reuben Wilkins,

Matthew Hooper, William Endicott,

I. H. Putnam, William Green,

Augustus Mudge, Charles P. Preston,

James D. Black, Benjamin F. Hutchinson,

John A. Learoyd, George A, Tapley.

Nathan Tapley, Arthur A. Putnam, Secretary.

The Committees thus primarily chosen by the people of the
two municipalities, afterwards met and organized as a joiut
Committee to make arrangements for the proposed festival in
behalf of the old town of Danvers, as it existed previous to
the separation. The expenses were to be borne by the inhab-
itants of both towns, in the same proportion as if no division
had taken place, with the exception of such as were strictly
local in their character.

The gentlemen composing the Joint-Committee of Arrange-
ments were organized as a united Committee by the appoint-
ment of Hon. R. S. Daniels as Chairman, and Francis Baker,
Esq., Secretary, the two Town Committees still retaining their
separate organization.

Previous to the union of the two Committees, that of South
Danvers appointed a delegation of five of their number, viz.,
Messrs. Daniels, E. Sutton, Allen, Dane and Abbott, to meet
Mr. Peabody in New York, on his arrival in the country, and
invite him to a public reception at his native town. A delega-
tion was also sent on a similar errand from Danvers, consistioig
of Messrs. Silvester, Page, Hooper and Langley.

Both delegations were cordially received by Mr. Peabody^
who was much gratified and deeply afi'ected on being informed
of the designs of his townsmen, expressing his readiiiiess to
comply with their wishes, but at the same time strongly desir-
ing that the affair might be conducted in a quiet and.imosten-
tatious manner and at as little expense as might be consistent
with a public reception.

Deputations were present, representing the merchants of New
York and other commercial cities of the Union, to offer similar
honors and eager to obtain audience, yet Mr. Peaboi?y embraced
the earliest opportunity to receive our Committees and express
his unabated attachment to the place of his nativity.

It is not proposed in these pages to give the details of the
arrangements made, but only the results as they transpired in
the course of the day. It may be proper to state that it was
at first proposed, in Committee, that the celebration should be
more strictly of a domestic character, a family meeting, to wel-

come home one of its honored and long absent members, as
well as an occasion to express gratitude to a public benefactor.
In consequence, however, of the refusal of Mr. Peabody, in
his letter to the New York deputation,* to accept any public
demonstration, except from his own townsmen, a preference
which they could not but regard as highly complimentary, as
well as evincing his unabated love for the place of his nativity,
they were induced to give the proposed ovation a more extended
import. This was now understood to be the only opportunity
to be afforded to the numerous friends of Mr. Peabody to unite
in such a testimonial of gratitude and respect. The plan was
therefore enlarged and invitations extended in a liberal manner
to Mr. Peabody's friends in distant places.

The presence of so large a number of Mr. Peabody's per-
sonal friends, many of whom had partaken of his hospitalities,
.und were eager to greet him at the first public welcome of his

* The terms of this admirable letter are so honorable to the writer as well as
iflattering to his townsmen, that we here insert it : —

Newport, Monday, Sept. 22, 1856.

Gentlkmen : — Your letter of tlie IGth inst. is before me. Allow me to say
without aflertation that no one can be more surprised than myself at the cordial
welcome which vou extend to me. Had my commercial and social life in London
produced even half the results with which your kindness endows it, I should esteem
myself more than repaid for all labors there by such a letter, subscribed as it is by
many old and dear friends, by gentlemen whose names in letters are coextensive
with the knowledge of our own language, and by merciiants whose enterprise has
carried the Hag of our country into every sea that commerce penetrates.

If during my long residence in London the commercial character and honor of
our countrymen liave stood upon an elevated position, it has not been the result of
my humble efforts. In common with many of yon, I have tried to do my jiart in
acconi])lishing these ends. That the American name now stands where it does in
the commercial world, is mainly owing to her merchants at home, who have extended
her commerce till its tonnage equals that of any other nation, who have drawn to
her shores the wealtii of other lands, under wliose directions the fertile fields of the
interior have been made accessible and peopled, and wiiose fidelity to their engage-
ments has become proverbial throughout the world.

It has been my pleasure during a long residence in London, to renew many old
tricndsliips, and 'to form many new ac((uaintances among my countrymen and
countrywomen ; and it has been my good fortune to l)e permitted to cultivate these
in social life, where I have endeavored as much as jKJSsible, to bring my British and
American friends together. 1 believed tiiat by so doing 1 should, in my humble
way, assist " to remove any prejudices, to soften political as])erities, and to i)romotc
feelings of good will and fraternity between the two countries. It gives me great
pleasure to be assured tluit my countrymen at home have symj)athi7.ed in tliese ob-
jects, and believed that tliey are partially accom[)lishcd. The recent tenii)orary
estrangement between tlie two governments served to demonstrate bow (leej) and
cordial is the alliance; lietween the interests and the sympathies of the two people.
By aiding to make individuals of the, two nations known to eacli otlier, I supposed
that 1 was contributing my mite towards the most solid and sure foundation of peace


.^^Ij'^M?*.^ '*'P^''

grateful countrymen, added new joy to the occasion. From
being simply a village festival it became almost national in its
character. Gentlemen of the highest standing among the
learned professions and in mercantile and other pursuits, were
here from abroad, to unite with us in the outpouring of grati-
tude to one, whose benefactions, great as they have been to us,
have not been limited to any narrow locality.

In their gratitude for benefits showered upon themselves, his
townsmen have by no means forgotten his wider sphere of
benevolent action. His protection of State, and consequently
of National Credit ; his generous hospitalities to his travelling
countrymen, and his efforts to promote kindly and brotherly
feeling between the people of kindred nations, are known and
appreciated. They are not ignorant of his timely aid to the
American exhibiters at the Crystal Palace, or of the humanity
which prompted him to send forward the Arctic ships in search
of Sir John Franklin. These and other instances of his claims
to be considered as a " world's benefactor," impressed his

and good will between them ; and while the power remains to me I shall continue
in a course which you approve.

In returning to my native land after an absence of twenty years, I had several
objects in view. I wished once more to see the land of my birth and early youth,
and the surviving members of my family ; once more to greet my friends in every
part of tlie country ; and to see and know the new genei^ations that have come up
since I left, and who are to be their successors. I also desired to visit every section
of the Union, and to witness with my own eyes the evidences at home of the pros-
perity of which I have seen abundant proofs abroad. The twenty years that have
elapsed since my last visit are the most important twenty years in the commercial
history of America. Like Rip Van Winkle, I am almost appalled at the wonderful
changes that already meet my eyes. Although, as you well know, I have not
slumbered meanwhile in a Sleepy Hollow, I stand amazed at the energy and activity
which characterize your city. It is my wish and purpose to remain in the country
long enough to understand these changes and their causes.

On mature reflection, gentlemen, I think that if I accept the hospitalities which
have been tendered to me by yourselves, and by friends in Baltimore, Philadelphia,
Boston and other cities, I shall very seriously interfere with the objects of my visit.
I have, therefore, been obliged to come to the conclusion to refuse all invitations to
dinner with the single exception of my native town of Danvers, in Massachusetts.
I assure you most sincerely that I regret very much that my plans thus compel me
to decline the high honor which you propose to confer upon me, and to deny myself
the pleasure of meeting so many personal friends.

With great esteem and respect,

I am, gentlemen, your faithful servant,

George Peabody.

Messrs. Nathaniel L. & George Griswold, Brown Brothers & Co., Duncan, vSher-
man & Co., Grinnell, Minturn & Co., Goodhue & Co., Wetmore, Crydcr & Co.,
Spofford, Tileston & Co., A. & A. Lawrence & Co., Washington Irving, William
B. Astor, Daniel Lord, George Newbold, John J. Palmer, William J. Wetraore,
Charles Augustus Davis, E. Cunard and others.

townsmen with the belief, that their demonstration should have
something of the character of internationality. This feature
was in some measure given to it by the presence of the British
Consul, at Boston, and of other distinguished subjects of the
United Kingdom. It was seen in the various decorations in
our streets and upon our buildings, where the stars and stripes
everywhere waved in amity with the cross of St. George. It
was also manifest at the Dinner, where the utmost enthusiasm
followed the mention of England's beloved Q,ueen. These
tokens of friendly feeling, which it was so ■gratifying to us to
exhibit, as the sincere expression of enlightened American sen-
timent towards the fatherland, we are happy to learn have
been warmly acknowledged by our transatlantic guests.


As the decorations of our public streets and private residences
would naturally attract the first attention of a visitor, and an
account of them better present the scene as it existed during
the progress of the Procession, it has been thought proper to
give them the first place in the order of events to be described.

It should be remarked that most of the decorations of private
citizens were the work of a few hours' preparation on the day
preceding the reception, or on the morning of the day itself
Yet the general good taste displayed, in giving the town an
aspect of gaiety and joy, seems to render apology scarcely


All the public builrlinjirs on Maple Street were highly (lecoratecl ; four
beautiful flags floated from the spire of Ivcv. Mr. Fletcher's church,
nnd the railroad crossing near it was elegantly trimmed with evergreen
and flags. The unfinished grammar schoolhouse bore the motto —

"FiuoE Sciiooi.H TiiK Nation's Stukn^th."

The Village Bank buihiing was ornamented with evergreen and stream-
ers. Near this was the magnifieent arch, which was admitted to be
one of the most tasteful in design, and elegant in execution, ever seen
in the country, and was decidedly the most splendid decoration on the



whole route. It was a triple arch, the main one being forty feet wide
and forty high, with lateral arches twenty feet wide and twenty high.
Six large American flags floated above the principal arch, and on its
very summit sat a large gilded eagle with spread wings. Across the
arch, in great letters, was the word


From the under side were suspended six beautiful medallions, tastefully
enwreathed with evergreen, and studded with gems of the richest flow-
ers. The two central ones were red, six feet in diameter, and had in-
serted on them, in gilt letters, —

"He has uonored us Abroad, we honor him at Home."

On each side of these was one of blue, somewhat smaller than the red,
but equally ornamented. In the center of one was the large gilt letter
G. and in the other the letter P.

The remaining medallions were white, with a splendid bouquet of
flowers in the center, and richly enwreathed as the others. This su-
perb structure was covered with green boughs and evergreens, and was
decorated with blue, white, and red streamers. We understand this
beautiful tribute was wholly domestic in its origin, erection and adorn-
ments, the ladies bearing a conspicuous part in the latter, and that
great credit is due in the premises to Joshua Silvester, Esq., who had
enjoyed Mr. Peabody's hosphalities in London, and to others of his
neighbors, who took an active part in its erection.

Passing through this arch you came under a most magnificent dis-
play of the flags of all nations. More than four hundred feet of line,
attached at the corners, at an elevation of more than sixty feet, cross-
ing each other over the center of the square in the form of a horizontal
X, filled with the various flags of the maritime nations, emblematic of
that peace and concord which Mr. Peabody has labored so assiduously
to promote, had a striking effect to elevate the mind and give wings to
the best wishes of the heart, wafting them to all nations, tongues and
people on the face of the globe.

These, with the tasteful and airy decorations of the houses and
stores on every side, made an exceedingly brilliant display, and will be
long remembered by those who beheld it. It was said that this scene
by moonlight was almost enchanting and seemed an entrance to a fairy
land. So many were those who came from a distance to see these
decorations, from the first Magistrate of the State to the more humble
mechanic, in carriages, on horseback, on foot, by day and by night ; so
many requested they might be kept up that others might see them, they
were all suffered to remain unchanged for several days, that both the
taste and curiosity of the people might be gratified. When the carriage
in which Mr. Peabody rode, came under the arch, the procession was
stopped, and Mr. Peabody stood erect, while an artist stationed for the
purpose took a photographic impression of the scene.

Of private decorations, several dwellings on Locust Street were hung

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Online LibraryDanvers (Mass.)Proceedings at the reception and dinner in honor of George Peabody, esq. of London → online text (page 1 of 19)